Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Dynamic competition and resource partitioning during the early life of two widespread, abundant and ecologically similar fishes

Nunn, A. D.; Vickers, Lauren; Mazik, Krysia; Bolland, Jonathan; Peirson, Graeme; Axford, Steve; Henshaw, Alan; Cowx, I. G.


Lauren Vickers

Graeme Peirson

Steve Axford

Alan Henshaw

I. G. Cowx


Competition and resource partitioning can have profound implications for individuals, populations and communities, and thus food webs, ecosystems and the management of biota and environments. In many species, the impacts of competition and resource partitioning are believed to be most severe during early life, but our understanding of the mechanisms and implications is incomplete. This study revealed short-term variations in both the occurrence and direction of competition during the early life of roach Rutilus rutilus and common bream Abramis brama, two of the most widespread and abundant fish species in Europe. There was also evidence of resource partitioning when small taxa dominated the zooplankton, but not when larger taxa were more abundant. In spite of the differences in foraging ecology, there were no significant differences in growth or nutritional condition in allopatry and sympatry. Similar to the concept of condition-specific competition, when competitive abilities vary along environmental gradients, the impacts of interspecific interactions on foraging ecology, growth and condition are dynamic and likely vary according to temporal fluctuations in prey availability. This is important because short-term incidences of competition could have cascading effects on food webs, even when no impacts on growth rates or condition are detected.


Nunn, A. D., Vickers, L., Mazik, K., Bolland, J., Peirson, G., Axford, S., …Cowx, I. G. (2020). Dynamic competition and resource partitioning during the early life of two widespread, abundant and ecologically similar fishes. Hydrobiologia, 847, 2211-2224.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 28, 2020
Online Publication Date Apr 18, 2020
Publication Date 2020-06
Deposit Date May 13, 2020
Publicly Available Date May 13, 2020
Journal Hydrobiologia
Print ISSN 0018-8158
Electronic ISSN 1573-5117
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 847
Pages 2211-2224
Keywords Behaviour; Condition; Foraging ;Growth; Prey selection; Trophic niche
Public URL
Publisher URL


Published article (920 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit

You might also like

Downloadable Citations